Launch parties for ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ were held hours after the play's premiere in London, setting the stage for a return of the series that has captivated readers and movie audiences worldwide.

Nearly 300 fans rushed through the doors of Kinokuniya bookstore on Singapore's Orchard Road at 7:01 am (2301 GMT Saturday) to become one of the first people in the world to see the new script.

Student Samantha Chua, 24, who along with her boyfriend was first in line, said she had been waiting outside the fourth-floor bookstore since 5 am.

"We were here so early that the mall wasn't even open yet so we had to come up through the cargo lifts," she told AFP, adding that it was "all worth it". "I grew up reading the books and I have a special place for them on my shelves but this will be my crowning glory," added Chua, who was wearing a Harry Potter-themed sweater.

Widely seen as the eighth Harry Potter instalment, the play is set 19 years after the end of the last book and features a grown-up Potter working at the Ministry of Magic.

Like many of his fans, Potter has now become an adult and has three children with his wife Ginny Weasley.

He still has his trademark round-rimmed glasses and the scar on his head, a permanent reminder of his nemesis Lord Voldemort, but must now help his youngest son Albus confront the family's dark past.
The script's global kickoff was timed to coincide with its launch at midnight in London, after the play's world premiere at the Palace Theatre earlier in the evening. July 31 was also author J K Rowling's birthday.

Hundreds of fans snaked down London's famous Picadilly street waiting to get their hands on a copy, while others queued anxiously outside Lello, a Gothic Revival-style bookstore in Portugal's historic center.

Latest News from Entertainment News Desk